Lynnfield center of attention
1 image Photo / Paula Muller
Alan Dresios of the Lynnfield Planning Board walks past Centre Farm, part of a land-use study.
7 hours ago
LYNNFIELD — Steeped in 18th-century history, Town Center’s future land use and traffic patterns are under study by an independent consultant and up for debate by longtime residents.
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is studying recommendations for Town Center that Planning Board co-chairman Alan Dresios said should be completed soon.
Dresios has not seen the municipal consulting organization’s recommendations, but he said they could encompass suggestions for slowing down Town Center traffic and ways to define the center.
Bordered by Summer, Main and South Common streets and dominated by the Meeting House built in 1714, Town Center is at once a Lynnfield crossroads, a traffic confluence and recreational and business area.
Dresios said town residents took a giant step forward to protect the center two years ago by authorizing Centre Farm’s purchase, effectively moving the sprawling historical property bordering the center from private to public hands.
In July, the town website invited residents attending a “concert on the Commons” to bring ideas for redefining the Center as well as blankets and lawn chairs.
“Many visions for the Center have and do exist, some doable some not. The Planning Board is attempting to identify cost effective workable solutions that have public support to make our Center better,” stated the website invitation.
Attorney Jason Kimball said the best plan for the Center is “to do nothing.” Kimball’s family has worked and lived in the Center for 60 years and he thinks moderate traffic changes and enforcement can ease any congestion now clogging up traffic in the Center.
“Traffic is not as big as people think,” Kimball said.
But Dresios said ideas ranging from a Main Street median to one-way restrictions have been floated as ways to moderate Town Center traffic.
Kimball warned that any plan envisioning restrictions on South Common Street or plans to close the street will multiply traffic congestion. Dresios said the Board of Selectmen will probably be the first stop for MAPC’s study.
“There’s a lot of good ideas floating around. My thought is good ideas bubble to the top,” Dresios said.
Thor Jourgensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org